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Japan Trip – May 2014 – Mega-Summary Post!

Teisha and I are always so lucky to get to go on such amazing vacations, and our latest trip to Japan– with Bob and Meg, Teisha’s parents, continued our trend of fun times and great exploration. We had a chance to revisit some of our favorite places (like the New Izu Hotel in Tokyo, the Tsukiji fish market, and the Okonoin cememtary), as well as see a few new ones (like the amazing Toyota museum in Nagoya). Here, we’ve compiled our travelogue and photos into one mega-post!
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Final Days in Tokyo – May 2014 Trip

Read on for our finals day in Tokyo, and our Japan 2014 trip overall!
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Kyoto and Koya-san – May 2014 Japan Trip

After our stop in Nagoya, we spent several nights in Kyoto and one night in Koya-san. We’d seen the sights before, but it was still a fun adventure with my parents.
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One night in Nagoya, Heading to Kyoto – May 2014 Japan Trip

After our first few days in Tokyo, we started heading down to Kyoto, with a one-night stay in Nagoya to check our two science/engineering museums there.
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First Days in Tokyo – May 2014 Trip

Five years ago we went to Japan for our honeymoon, and we’ve been wanting to go back ever since. So that’s why we (Teisha and Andrew) went back this May, and dragged Teisha’s parents along too! (They’d never been before.) As of writing this, the trip is over, but I still wanted to get a travelogue up because it’s fun to share with others and look back at years from now. So, here’s the beginning of the travelogue!
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Minecrafting

So, I’ve been having a great deal of fun playing Minecraft with my friends lately. I’m hosting a server on the Ubuntu 12.04 box in my basement that doubles as my media center, and it works pretty well supporting 6 or 7 simultaneous players.

One of my favorite things about minecraft is the high detail that the log files contain: when players join, when they leave, number and causes of player deaths. Being the data-driven type that I am, I’ve been writing some quick python scripts to combine the log files and strip out extraneous information (MC_LogParse.py), make a nice csv file of the deaths of each player (MC_DeathLog.py), and add up total time played for each player (MC_Playtime.py). I thought I’d share them below, for anyone interested– all should be compatible with stock Minecraft 1.7.4. They work on Ubuntu and OSX, at least. I also included the list of terms I strip out of log files (log_terms.txt).
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The Android Future

So, I finally took the plunge and upgraded from my iPhone to a Nexus 5 Android phone… and I feel more like I’m living in the future then ever before. Rather than rant about it, I thought I’d just share this photosphere of my living room:


Pretty slick! And Android is so much more open, hackable, and customizable. Good times.

Hawaii Trip 2013, Summary!

Overall we had a wonderful relaxing, and yet stimulating/educational, time exploring Hawaii together this year. Teisha had a lot of fun firsts (snorkeling, lots of snorkeling, exploring a rain forest, experiencing a luau, and just visiting Hawaii) and both Andrew and Teisha had some amazing firsts together (swimming with dolphins, poking hot lava!!, and just exploring so many neat places together, like Hilo and the surrounding area). We made several day-by-day posts on Paradoxdruid’s Rants, which we thought we’d compile together in this (belated) post. Below the links to the posts is a link to trip photo gallery.
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Hawaii Trip, Day 8: Hilo Wanderings

Our flight home wasn’t until 9PM, so we had quite a bit of time to wander around before heading to the airport. First thing in the morning we checked out the local farmer’s market again, but since it was a Saturday they had the larger farmer’s market – it filled a few square blocks, and there was an amazing assortment of just about any fruit that could be grown in the area, as well as many Asian-style prepared foods, jams and honey, flowers, plants (amazing orchids), gifts, and more. (photos from today are on Day 8 of the Hawaii Trip Gallery)
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Hawaii Trip, Day 7: Kapoho Tide Pools and the Volcano

Today we spent the day mostly wandering around the Hilo/Pahoa area, with the highlights being exploring the Nanawale Forest Reserve/Park, snorkeling at the Kapoho tide pools, and getting close enough to poke hot lava with a stick (in Kilauea). (photos from today are on Day 7 of the Hawaii Trip Gallery)
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Linkdump

My first first-author paper!

Just wanted to share that my first first-author paper is now online! In the journal Stem Cells and Development, here’s my paper on “Roles of Integrins in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Growth on Matrigel and Vitronectin.”


The Future of Scientific Publishing

Just read a fascinating (if lengthy) essay on disruptive technology and the future of scientific publishing. Well worth the read!


Deflation!

Just wanted to share Mint.com’s Visual Guide to Deflation, which is quite explanatory.


All Things Stem Cell

Hey all Paradoxdruid readers! I recently started up a blog on stem cells that I’d love you all to take a look at: http://www.allthingsstemcell.com/


Barely Literate: The Fermata

I participated in another Barely literate book review podcast, this time on Nicholson Baker’s “The Fermata”. Give it a listen!


Time for Change

Obama has outlined a strategy for America, in great depth. Read all about Change.gov!


Free Rice

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s entirely possible that I am the last person to learn about this website*, but it’s really addictive. 
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